Friday, October 2, 2009
Otherwise known as Vegan Month of Food.
So for VeganMoFo, in the spirit of Julie and Julia, I am going to cook every vegan recipe in the September 2009 issue of Gourmet! How bout that!
Luckily there appear to be only about fifteen really vegan recipes in this issue. But there are about a dozen more that appear to be easily vegan-ized. The September issue a good issue to use for this project because it is mostly about vegetables. The "theme" is that it is an A B C book for cooks, which is a bit corny ("A is for Apple Pie," of course), but the recipes are great, so I will forgive them.
For a small dinner party on Wednesday night, I adapted the Sauteed Kale with Kohlrabi. No kohlrabi was to be found in Whole Foods, so I left out the part where you get out your adjustable blade slicer, adjust the blade, and slice the kohlrabi super thin. I love using the adjustable blade slicer, but I forewent that pleasure and just focused on sauteeing the kale.
For most of my long kale-growing and kale-eating history, which spans at least twenty-five years, I have just simmered the kale in about an inch of water, or else steamed it. But I have to admit that sauteeing it is fun and the results are good. First, you sautee some minced garlic in some olive oil, and then you start adding handfuls of the chopped kale, while stirring. I use chopsticks and a wok. When all the kale has been added and it is all wilted, you sprinkle some salt over it and saute it for another three minutes. The Gourmet recipe suggested a kind of dressing of 2T lime juice plus 2T olive oil, and that was very good on the kale. Also, they suggested a sprinkling of salted pistachios, but since those were expensive, I substituted salted pumpkin seeds. Sunflower seeds or peanuts would probably be good too.
The other side was Cheesy Creamed Corn with Cilantro. (From the menu with dishes beginning with C.) This recipe was vegetarian but not vegan, in that it involved butter, cream, and queso fresco. I had made it the week before with all those dairy ingredients and it was great. This time, I used frozen corn instead of fresh corn, soy creamer instead of cream, Earth Balance instead of butter, and tofu instead of queso, and it was still very good.
Tofu-y (Soy) Creamed Corn with Cilantro
3 T Earth Balance or olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped scallions
2 packages of frozen corn or corn cut from 12 ears (about 6 cups)
2/3 cup soy creamer
2 tsp corn starch
1 large garlic clove
6 oz tofu, mashed and mixed with about 2 T nutritional yeast and a little lemon juice
1 cup cilantro sprigs
Thaw the corn if frozen. Melt the Earth Balance and saute the scallions about five minutes. Add corn and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and saute another five minutes.
Stir together the creamer and the corn starch and add to the pot. Cook another three minutes.
Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender with a clove of garlic and blend until smooth. Add it back to the pot of corn and add the tofu and the cilantro. Heat gently till warm.